Warm weather brings more ticks

(WEAU) - "He was sitting on my lap and I thought it was just a little flick of a wood chip," said Debby Gravunder who lives in Rice Lake.

It turns out, what Debby Gravunder thought was a woodchip, was actually alive.

"Next thing you know I could feel something so lightly and looked and here it was a tick, it was the thing I picked off him was now crawling on my hand and it was a deer tick," said Debby.

5-year-old Jack, a Jack Russell Terrier has encountered ticks before, but was bitten by one just 3 weeks ago.

The dog was diagnosed with Lyme disease 2 and half years ago.

The Chippewa County Department of Public Health says warm weather brings out the ticks.

It's had 3-cases of tick bites already.

"We've had a couple more cases this year than we've had in the last two years we had one in 2010, and one in 2011, we know ticks become active once the snow disappears,” said Jean Durch of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health.

"We usually don't see the deer tick be out as early as we have this year basically because of the warmer temperatures," said Jerry Clark of the UW Extension.

Lyme disease can be a problem for dogs and wildlife as well as people.

"Typically they feed as a smaller tick or a mite during the fall and over winter, and in that second year is when their typically an aggressive feeder," said Jerry.

The Chippewa County Public Health Department and the UW Extension says that you can actually prevent Lyme disease by wearing longer sleeves and lighter clothing.

"The important thing to note is if someone has a tick bite or they discover a tick that has bitten them to watch themselves for symptoms, do they get a bulls eye red rash around where the bite was," said Jean.

Debby says she and her husband now check Jack for ticks every time he goes into the house.

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